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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:33 AM
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Cobra Make, Engine: ERA #732, 428FE (447 CID), TKO600, Solid Flat Tappet Cam, Tons of Aluminum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodKnock View Post
Hey, I could wrong, but Tim's 2136 took a really long time. His build thread started from the body coming out of the mold on 8/28/09 and completion at ERA, not including delivery time, on 3/20/11. That doesn't include the time from deposit to coming out of the mold. That's about 19 months PLUS!

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I recall that build vividly; it was an anomaly.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
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I recall that build vividly; it was an anomaly.
Tim's ERA 2136 is not exactly cookie cutter, but you think that was about a 1-year anomaly?
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RodKnock View Post
Tim's ERA 2136 is not exactly cookie cutter, but you think that was about a 1-year anomaly?
Well, it's possible that I'm just wrong, you know. ERA could be backed up to the two year mark, for all I know. My build experience is approaching a dog-year ago.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 06:05 PM
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From what I understand, it'd be at least nine months, possibly longer, to have a new ERA built for me. And that is, I believe, from when the process actually begins (although I could be wrong about that). So, yeh, I'm assuming at least an entire year. Fortunately, I'm not in a rush, so the time lag isn't a problem.

The cost of the new ERA I'd be interested in is similar to, perhaps a bit less than the cost of a used Kirkham, so that's why I'm expanding the search. Also, there is a lovely used Kirkham for sale in my area, already SB-100 compliant and nicely set up, which adds even more desirability to an already very desirable car.

Honestly, both choices would completely top out my budget. As you may recall, prior to learning more about my options, I was originally in a significantly lower price range. Which does worry me a little, not leaving much of a reserve for that initial round of maintenance for immediately after the car is acquired, especially the more used it is. Not to mention fixing this and modifying that as the months go by.

So that's kind of a summary of where the search is at present. Really pushing the upper limits of the budget and a bit beyond what I initially felt was a comfortable sum. But I also know there is a comfortable lower limit, too, below which I'd likely be dissatisfied and probably wish I'd never spent the money in the first place.

I do agree that seeing both the ERA and Kirkham shops in person would be a great learning experience. But at least I'm getting to see and drive the cars for myself, which in its own way is extremely helpful.

Last edited by Flygirl; 10-25-2011 at 06:25 PM..
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 06:33 PM
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Flygirl, do you know IFlyEm
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:22 PM
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Since you posted this on the Kirkham forum, I figure you have determined that ERA is the closest build to the pinnacle of replicas, the Kirkham. I used to live in CT and visited ERA several times and checked out their GT40 before buying my RCR GT40. One of those visit included my uncle Roy who purchased an ERA Cobra and built it in his garage. He is meticulous and built a beautiful cobra with a 428 we pulled out of a monster truck and his son rebuilt. An absolutely beautiful car. Anyway...sorry...had several of my secret margarita recipe. Now where was I...oh yes...I was faced with the same choice last year. ERA or Kirkham and arrived at these two manufacturers as the best from an accuracy and quality perspective. You can not go wrong with either, but for me the aluminum body was the deciding factor. I've built six kits each a different body style from a different manufacturer, but never a cobra. For me, the lure of aluminum cobra was too strong.

You've already tipped your hand. The Kirkham for sale you passed on is less that you will pay for a new one with those features. Even if you didn't go with the ss frame, once you add a brushed finish or paint you are over the asking price. if you are going to order one new, get in the ERA queue now. Otherwise, keep looking around. I good deal one a great cobra that meets your requirements is only an ad away.
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:52 PM
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Oh, gosh, I haven't passed on anything. Quite the contrary, actually!
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:56 PM
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Default Other ideas?

Natalie,

Not to rattle your brain any more that what you are now, but are you absolutely dead set on a 427 street car with no rollbar?


The reason I ask is based on some of the feedback on some of the prior questions and answers. You indicated you want to do a bit of driving and periodic "trips". When I hear someone wanting to do trips, having a big block 4 speed car starts to fade out of vision a bit for me. Don't get me wrong, I love my BB 4 speed 427 car, but if I was going to do more road trips the first thing that comes to my mind is sweet little FIA car, nice 331 small block setup, 5 speed transmission, nimble, and a little better fuel efficiency. Super fun cars! Kirkham, ERA, either one. If you are patient, you might be able to find one a little closer to your budget and have a little headroom to help take the edge off a bit. Worst case you could try it, drive it for a few years, go all over the place with it, have fun, meet a lot of people and see what you think. If in 2-3 years you still must have a 427 BB car, authentic, you could sell the FIA/SB car and upgrade then after you put some miles on the first car. Just another option. Those little FIA cars are sweet when set up right are the perfect trip and road car for more regular trips. If I could, I'd have one of each. Just posing the question as one other possible option while you are working hard to make sense of it all. Many of us here have owned several iterations of Cobras before settling on any one. The first one makes you appreciate the second one, and vice versa, and so on. Good Luck on the journey.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 10:24 PM
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Flygirl...you appear to be someone whose time is worth as much as any financial considerations. I am the same way in my line of business.

So from that basis and as someone who has had a brushed arruminum Kirkham on the road and track on a regular basis for as long as anyone...in fact maybe the longest (outside of the the Kirkham family) if we're talking continuous use...don't worry about the arruminum. This has been the easiest car I've ever owned in terms of body upkeep.

A good wash, some scratch or blemish removal with a Scotchbrite once or twice a year, and Windex with a baby diaper for touchups and fingerprints...and that's it.

I've run all over this State in it, through rain, snow, Death Valley in mid-summer and on the track and autocrossed (hitting more than a few cones)...a few slight depressions in the unsupported cowl area where I put my palm while messing with the engine is it.

Do not make the decision based on any fear you may have with a metal body.

I like Duane's thinking based on your own description of what you want to do with it, but I'd go with full weather gear, radio, heater, etc....go Slabside if you go with La Familia (Kirkhams). But...those are decisions for you to make.

Enjoy the journey.
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Last edited by Jamo; 10-25-2011 at 10:26 PM..
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2011, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decooney View Post
Natalie,

Not to rattle your brain any more that what you are now, but are you absolutely dead set on a 427 street car with no rollbar?


The reason I ask is based on some of the feedback on some of the prior questions and answers. You indicated you want to do a bit of driving and periodic "trips". When I hear someone wanting to do trips, having a big block 4 speed car starts to fade out of vision a bit for me. Don't get me wrong, I love my BB 4 speed 427 car, but if I was going to do more road trips the first thing that comes to my mind is sweet little FIA car, nice 331 small block setup, 5 speed transmission, nimble, and a little better fuel efficiency. Super fun cars! Kirkham, ERA, either one. If you are patient, you might be able to find one a little closer to your budget and have a little headroom to help take the edge off a bit. Worst case you could try it, drive it for a few years, go all over the place with it, have fun, meet a lot of people and see what you think. If in 2-3 years you still must have a 427 BB car, authentic, you could sell the FIA/SB car and upgrade then after you put some miles on the first car. Just another option. Those little FIA cars are sweet when set up right are the perfect trip and road car for more regular trips. If I could, I'd have one of each. Just posing the question as one other possible option while you are working hard to make sense of it all. Many of us here have owned several iterations of Cobras before settling on any one. The first one makes you appreciate the second one, and vice versa, and so on. Good Luck on the journey.
Thank you, I appreciate the advice. I'm really considering the FIA car as an option. Previously I thought, I don't want a small block in the 427 S/C body, that doesn't quite work for me. But in the FIA, it would.

At the moment, in an ideal world (and not specifying a manufacturer) the ideal setup would be a big block FE, five speed trans, undercar exhaust, no roll bar, Wimbledon white (or brushed aluminum) with no stripes.

But, being more realistic, here are the options as I see them so far:

1. A 428 CJ and a five speed. That might give me the OD I'd like for longer trips and a bit of that close ratio feeling in the other four gears. This would probably be in a (used) Kirkham 427 SC or new/used ERA. If it happened to be in the ERA, I'd consider having one built new and going with undercar exhaust, no stripes or rollbar, etc. PRICE: $$$

2. A 302/331 small block and five speed (as suggested above). This would probably be in a Superformance or perhaps an ERA, maybe a Kirkham but that seems less likely. In the case of the SPF, could be a new build with undercar exhaust, no roll bar or stripes. PRICE: $$

3. A 427 side oiler and wide ratio Toploader. This would definitely be in a used car, an ERA is what I'd like most in this case, and this option might get me the engine I really, really really want. I'd make some sacrifices on the rest of the car (color, holes in the body from where the roll bar was removed, etc.) but if it was well set up, had proper documentation and came from a conscientious owner—and at a lower relative price than either of the above—that would make a lot of sense too. PRICE: $

That's how it's breaking down for me at the moment, although there are still other manufacturers I haven't researched yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
Flygirl...you appear to be someone whose time is worth as much as any financial considerations. I am the same way in my line of business.

So from that basis and as someone who has had a brushed arruminum Kirkham on the road and track on a regular basis for as long as anyone...in fact maybe the longest (outside of the the Kirkham family) if we're talking continuous use...don't worry about the arruminum. This has been the easiest car I've ever owned in terms of body upkeep.

A good wash, some scratch or blemish removal with a Scotchbrite once or twice a year, and Windex with a baby diaper for touchups and fingerprints...and that's it.

I've run all over this State in it, through rain, snow, Death Valley in mid-summer and on the track and autocrossed (hitting more than a few cones)...a few slight depressions in the unsupported cowl area where I put my palm while messing with the engine is it.

Do not make the decision based on any fear you may have with a metal body.

I like Duane's thinking based on your own description of what you want to do with it, but I'd go with full weather gear, radio, heater, etc....go Slabside if you go with La Familia (Kirkhams). But...those are decisions for you to make.

Enjoy the journey.
Many thanks for your input!

Reality of it is, my budget doesn't give me a lot of wiggle room when it comes to a Kirkham, even a used one. So I'd probably be waiting a long time, and/or going with something that might not have all of what you suggested (heater, radio, weather gear). Which might be okay, actually, because realistically those multi-day trips might only happen once or twice per year.

I know the aluminum is an attention magnet but, dang, I sure like it a lot. And when I decide on something, I do like to know how I'm going to get things done before I dive in head first. As you can probably tell!

Last edited by Flygirl; 10-25-2011 at 11:19 PM..
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 10-26-2011, 06:17 AM
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Flygirl: Not attempting to muddy the water here, but I just noticed a Contemporary Cobra for sale in the for sale section. 427 S.O. with 1900 miles. Cobra located in Pennsylvania. From what I've heard and read, Contemporary is a very close match to a ERA in terms of quality and originality. Asking price is $39,950 I think. This should be well within your budget and still give you financial room to personalize the cobra the way you want. I have no interest in this cobra and just posting some info for your consideration. Best of luck in your search for your perfect cobra.
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 10-29-2011, 02:03 PM
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I don't have any association to this car, but here is an ERA listed on fleabay. The only drawback is the car has a double roll bar.

Replica/Kit Makes | eBay
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 10-29-2011, 04:20 PM
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2. A 302/331 small block and five speed ...

Don't forget they make 351w small blocks already stroked to 427 CID, DART delivers blocks already punched out to 427 with .040 more room for rebuilds. From DART -
Siamesed cylinders with standard 4.00 in. or 4.125 in. cylinder bores, which can be safely bored to 4.165 in. diameters

Some, such as myself, believe you get the best of both worlds with a 427SBF, just so you know there is that other option out there.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:06 PM
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Thanks, guys.

A bit of an update on the Search...

I checked out an absolutely beautiful Kirkham 427 S/C with a 428 CJ and all the trimmings. I have to say, the car is a work of art and the owner's choices pleased my aesthetic sensibilities very much.

Some things which struck me:

1. The body didn't seem nearly as fragile as I feared. Yeh, if used my knee to slam the door hard it might dent, but I wouldn't do that to my daily driver either. I slammed the doors (not too hard out of respect) and leaned on the fender and like that; all seemed just fine and I was pleasantly surprised. There were no hints of oilcanning or really weak areas just waiting to be damaged, at least I didn't notice any. And the door-slam had a nice thunk to it.

2. It was a shorter drive but we hit a couple of poorly paved patches of road. There was no cowl shake and the car seemed very rigid.

3. The five speed Tremec with a 0.82 (I think it is) fifth is the way to go for me. It does seem to have that close ratio feel in the lower gears, plus a nice O/D for cruising.

4. The cockpit fit me very well. The width of the footboxes was quite adequate even for my gunboats, and the relationship between the steering column/steering wheel/driver's seat cushion made sliding in and out of the cockpit much easier than I've experienced previously. There was more space between the bottom of the steering wheel and the driver's seat cushion. I think it might be a smaller diameter steering wheel, but the angle of the column itself seems to be a bit steeper and that helps too. It was nice to slide in and out normally, instead of bracing myself on the seat or some part of the car and lowering myself in. I might even be able to wear a skirt, driving that car!

Overall an amazing experience, and I like the brushed aluminum too. The price is really a reach for me however, but honestly the car was done just as I'd like it.

It was really a cut above. [sigh]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AL427SBF View Post
2. A 302/331 small block and five speed ...

Don't forget they make 351w small blocks already stroked to 427 CID, DART delivers blocks already punched out to 427 with .040 more room for rebuilds. From DART -
Siamesed cylinders with standard 4.00 in. or 4.125 in. cylinder bores, which can be safely bored to 4.165 in. diameters

Some, such as myself, believe you get the best of both worlds with a 427SBF, just so you know there is that other option out there.
You know, maybe it was just driving my first Cobra, I don't know, but that 392 injected Windsor in the SPF I drove way back when seemed easily as fast as any of the other (FE powered) cars I've driven since. Or perhaps I'm just getting used to it? Is that even possible with over 400hp or more on tap?

A couple of times now I've had that big, big Cobra driver smile I always get...but found myself with my foot to the floor thinking, "is that all there is?"

How can that be?

The other question is, can I really afford a 427SBF?

Last edited by Flygirl; 10-31-2011 at 07:21 PM..
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:07 PM
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You can afford whatever you decide to. -

The Kirkham car is so far above on quality, that it is "beyond"

they do have some little fitment issues with the occasional component, but they nail them down with you.

and if something is discovered that needs to be addressed, I have learned that they themsleves are a learning organization. -

for my money in the secondary cobra market, a pre-owned Kirkham would be a very nice toy indeed.

alternately - having a Kirkham spec'ed for you would be a very rewarding experience.

one could have a 408W with a 5 speed, undercar and possibly EFI - and never look at another sporting car again, as they wouldnt compare.

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